“God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons”
In the article “No Longer an Orphan (But Tempted to Live Like It),” Christine Hoover lists the following as behavioral tendencies of an orphan:
- Orphans have to take care of themselves.
- Orphans must be strong.
- Orphans must protect themselves from being taken advantage of.
- Orphans cannot depend on anyone.
- Orphans cannot be weak.
- Orphans crave to be taken in and loved but doubt they ever will.
- Orphans want to be accepted, to belong.
- Orphans only trust themselves.
- Orphans cannot get too close.
- Orphans are on the outside looking in.
Does this sound familiar? With Christ, we are not orphans. And yet as Christians, we often still live as orphans. We live with guilt and fear when we can’t live up to our own legalistic standards. Instead of running to Him with our failures and needs we pull away from him and hide. We try to live a Christian life without opening up and trusting God and then wonder why we feel so alone with our failures.
Being open to Christ’s love doesn’t mean we won’t fail. But if we believe the love, the protection of our patient Father, our need for self-reliance and self-justification disappears. He opens his arms to us, his children, so that we may erase and leave behind our orphan ways. He frees us.
Hooper ends with the beautiful gospel truth that,
“[…] we don’t have to be perfect because Another is perfect for us. When perfect is taken care of – when we’re declared righteousness by the blood of Christ – we are finally free to love, to accept our weaknesses because God is strong in them, and to believe that God is for us.”
Sisters, we are no longer orphans.